The Cadillac Escalade is the first foray by Cadillac into the luxury SUV market. The automobile was first produced in 1999 in Arlington, Texas in the United States. However the vehicle was orginally produced in Silao, Mexico. Both the Escalade and the Escalade EXT pickup were assembled in Mexico.
Because of General Motors need to produce a luxury SUV quickly to compete with the Lincoln Navigator, the Escalade took only 10 months to go from conception to production. This quick turnaround showed in sales. The Escalade was really only a revamped GMC Denali and the public seemed to know it. That first Escalade had only five passenger seating, wheels borrowed straight from the GMC Denali with only the GMC logos on the center cap changed out with the Cadillac crest and the engine was the same as well. The first Cadillac Escalade engine was a 5.7 L Vortec 5700 V8 and was a poor competitor when compared to the powerful Lincoln Navigator engine with which it was expected to compete.
Oddly enough, Cadillac did not come out with a 2001 model Escalade, the years jump from 2000 straight to 2002. For 2002 however, Cadillac did get smarter and things started to turn around for the Escalade. It came with a rear wheel drive and an all wheel drive and the engine was upgraded as well. This time it was given a Vortec 6.0 L V8 engine and this time around could seat up to eight people. As the years progressed more luxury features were added. It now came with a four wheel stabilitrak control system and also with power adjustable pedals. Next came 20 inch chrome wheels and Satellite Radio. Other neat features include both heated and cooled cup holders, a moon roof and three DVD screens for passenger viewing comfort. For 2002 through 2006 a 6.0 H0 Vortec V8 engine was added as well.